Can Poor Oral Health Lead to Heart Disease?
February 6, 2020
It’s been a while since your last dental visit, which is why you’re not too surprised when you learn you have advanced gum disease. While it isn’t good news, you don’t think much about it other than the treatment you’ll need and commitment to improving your oral hygiene habits at home. But is it more concerning than you think? What if other areas of your body can be negatively affected as a result? Since February is American Heart Month in North Sarasota, find out just how connected your oral and heart health can be and what you should do to keep them both in check.
How Can Poor Oral Health Result in Heart Disease?
The first thing you should know is that heart disease knows no age, but the reality is that individuals ages 35-64 are becoming more commonly diagnosed with this problem because of two factors: obesity and high blood pressure.
While that may not sound like a direct connection between gum and heart disease, you’re right, but other considerations must be taken in order to understand the link between the two. Individuals who are considered overweight or obese have a higher risk of developing diabetes, which is a risk factor for individuals with gum disease and vice versa.
Many studies have shown that gum disease in North Sarasota and poor oral health, in general, can put you at risk for a bacterial infection entering the bloodstream. As a result, your cardiovascular system can be impacted, affecting your heart valves. It can also make you more susceptible to developing diabetes. Should you have it prior to receiving your gum disease diagnosis, it will become more difficult trying to manage your blood sugar levels.
Why Regular Dental Visits Are Important
What many people don’t realize is that by visiting your dentist every six months, you can reduce your risk for developing gum disease and ultimately, lower your chances of heart disease and other serious health conditions. These regular appointments make it possible for your dental team to check your oral cavity for abnormalities or signs that point to tooth decay, cavities, gum disease, or oral cancer.
It is also a time when you can have your teeth thoroughly cleaned. A dental hygienist will remove plaque and tartar buildup from around your teeth and gums before giving your pearly whites a final polish that produces a healthy, refreshing smile.
Your dentist is your ally in the fight against dental problems, which is why it is imperative that you keep these appointments if at all possible. By allotting an hour or so twice a year to let a professional care for your teeth, you can save yourself a lot of time and money on preventable oral and overall health problems.
About the Author
Dr. Warren Hoffman attended dental school in Baltimore, Maryland and received his Doctor of Dental Surgery degree. He then went on to complete an externship during his senior year, providing dental services to stationed members of the United States Coast Guard in Honolulu, Hawaii. At Parkway Ridge Dental, he and his team of dental professionals want you to have a beautiful, healthy smile, which is why they offer periodontal therapy for individuals with gum disease. To learn how this common condition can affect more than just your oral health, or for questions about our services, contact us at (941) 358-8830.